Research indicates that a variety of stimulation while babies are in the womb is the start to building and promoting cognitive development. From playing music to reading to physical interaction in utero, stimulated babies are able to begin life with an advantage, being born with what some researchers consider more confidence in themselves and the ability to learn more easily. ~Smart Babies
1. Feeding Your Baby’s Brain Prenatal
Certain foods have been proven to positively affect your baby’s memory and capacity to learn, and others can hinder proper brain development. Here, what to eat and what to avoid while you’re pregnant… Parents.com
- Prenatal Vitamins
- Omega 3s
- Fruits & Veggies
Read this article to find out what foods to eat during pregnancy for brain development.
Read this article to see what top 10 fruits to eat during pregnancy.
If a woman is physically active during pregnancy, she may boost the development of her unborn child’s brain, according to a study of expectant mothers and their newborns. The findings bolster a growing scientific consensus that the benefits of exercise can begin to accumulate even before someone is born. ~The New York Times
Exercising during pregnancy can be a great way to ease stress and keep you and baby healthy. But, do not forget to get the ok from your doctor before starting any exercise program. Here are some great tips via the Mayo Clinic,
- Start small. You don’t need to join a gym or wear expensive workout clothes to get in shape. Just get moving. Try a daily walk through your neighborhood. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or walk the perimeter of the grocery store a few times.
- Find a partner. Exercise can be more interesting if you use the time to chat with a friend. Better yet, involve the whole family.
- Try a class. Many fitness centers and hospitals offer classes, such as prenatal yoga, designed for pregnant women. Choose one that fits your interests and schedule.
- Get creative. Don’t limit yourself. Consider hiking, rowing or dancing.
- Give yourself permission to rest. Your tolerance for strenuous exercise will probably decrease as your pregnancy progresses. ~Pregnancy and Exercise: Baby Let’s Move
3. Music for Brain Development
Lullabies, classical music, and children’s songs are reasonable options, when choosing what genre of music to introduce to the baby, because of the ability for these types of songs to also soothe and relax. ~Make Baby Smarter in the Womb
4. Practice Good Hygiene
Your body is changing rapidly and now caring for two. It is important to cut down on the chance of bad bacteria and viruses taking their hold. Viruses can be dangerous to the fetus even when the mother has no symptoms. That’s why pregnant women should:
- Wash their hands frequently
- Avoid sharing food with toddlers and small children
- Report any symptoms to a doctor.
Pregnant women are now advised to get flu shots either before pregnancy or after the first trimester. (MomlifeTV)
5. Keeping The Peace
At first, from your baby’s perspective, the womb lacks stimulation. It’s dark, moist, warm, protective and quieter than “out there.” Your child has a lot to accomplish and the quiet is just what your baby needs.
Once things get going, your embryo’s pre-brain pumps out neurons at a rate of 500,000 cells a minute. In the four seconds it took you to read that sentence, your baby made more than 32,000 new cells.
Some experts think this is one of the reasons women experience morning sickness. One study (that hasn’t been replicated) looked at kids born to mothers who suffered from extreme nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. At school age, 21 percent scored 130 or more on a standard IQ test. Only 7 percent of kids whose moms had no morning sickness scored that high. ~Pregnancy.org
Learn more here about how soon you can have morning sickness.
6. Avoid Toxins as Much as Possible
You do not want to get paranoid about this one as stress is not good for you or baby either, but a healthy environment equals a healthier baby.
A study released by the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health found that pregnant women’s exposure to traffic emissions is linked to future attention problems in their children. The researchers discovered that when pollutants are inhaled by the mom-to-be, they transfer across the placenta and bind to the baby’s DNA, potentially causing behavioral problems that could affect the child’s education.
7. Talk to Your Baby
This one is not just about brain development but comfort too. A comforted baby is a baby who is better able to learn and develop.
There’s no evidence that you can increase your baby’s intelligence by playing music or reading stories. However, hearing your voice may help your baby to recognize and bond with you after birth. Interacting with your bump may also help you to relax, reduce stress and deepen your own feelings for your baby.
Don’t worry if you’re not comfortable with singing and chatting to your baby bump. The natural stimulation your baby receives from everyday conversations and activities is more than enough to prepare her for the outside world. ~BabyCentre